Friday, September 16, 2011

Eating in Regency & Victorian England Part 1

Have you been watching SBS (Australia) lately? They are showing re-runs of their series Supersizers Go… I’ll admit some of it made me a little queasy, but never the less it is very interesting.
My sources are from: Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management, Domestic Cookery by Elizabeth E. Lea, The Cook’s Oracle: and Housekeeper’s Manual by William Kitchiner and English Housewifery by Elizabeth Moxon and a couple of others.
The information below was sourced from:
The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches by Mary Eaton. If you would like to have a copy of this book you can down load it free from The Project Gutenberg.
Before we start with recipes and other cooking related posys lets look at what is in season and when.
BILLS OF FARE, or list of various articles in season in different months.
January.
Poultry. Game, pheasants, partridges, hares, rabbits, woodcocks, snipes, turkeys, capons, pullets, fowls, chickens, tame pigeons.
Fish. Carp, tench, perch, eels, lampreys, crayfish, cod, soles, flounders, plaice, turbot, skate, thornback, sturgeon, smelts, whitings, crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters.
Vegetables. Cabbage, savoys, coleworts, sprouts, brocoli, leeks, onions, beet, sorrel, chervil, endive, spinach, celery, garlic, potatoes, parsnips, turnips, shalots, lettuces, cresses, mustard, rape, salsify, herbs dry and green.
Fruit. Apples, pears, nuts, walnuts, medlars, grapes.
February, March.
Meat, fowls and game, as in January, with the addition of ducklings and chickens.
Fish. As the last two months, except that cod is not thought so good, from February to July.
Vegetables. The same as the former months, with the addition of kidney beans.
Fruit. Apples, pears, forced strawberries.
April, May, June.
Meat. Beef, mutton, veal, lamb, venison in June.—
Poultry. Pullets, fowls, chickens, ducklings, pigeons, rabbits, leverets.
Fish. Carp, tench, soles, smelts, eels, trout, turbot, lobsters, chub, salmon, herrings, crayfish, mackarel, crabs, prawns, shrimps.
Vegetables. As before, and in May, early potatoes, peas, radishes, kidney beans, carrots, turnips, early cabbages, cauliflowers, asparagus, artichokes, all sorts of forced sallads.
Fruit. In June, strawberries, cherries, melons, green apricots, gooseberries and currants for tarts. In July, cherries, strawberries, pears, melons, gooseberries, currants, apricots, grapes, nectarines, peaches; but most of these are forced.
July, August, September.
Meat as before.
Poultry. Pullets, fowls, chickens, rabbits, pigeons, green geese, leverets, turkey poults, plovers, wheatears, and geese in September.
Fish. Cod, haddock, flounders, plaice, skate, thornback, mullets, pike, carp, eels, shellfish, except oysters; mackarel the first two months, but are not good in August.
Vegetables. Beans, peas, French beans, and various others.
Fruit. In July, strawberries, gooseberries, pineapples, plums, cherries, apricots, raspberries, melons, currants, damsons. In August and September, peaches, plums, filberts, figs, mulberries, cherries, apples, pears, nectarines, grapes, pines, melons, strawberries, medlars, quinces, morella cherries, damsons, and various plums.
October.
Meat as before, and doe-venison.
Poultry. Game, pheasants, fowls, partridges, larks, hares, dotterels, wild ducks, teal, snipes, widgeon, grouse.
Fish. Dories, smelts, pike, perch, holibets, brills, carp, salmon trout, barbel, gudgeons, tench, shellfish.
Vegetables. As in January, French beans, runners, windsor beans.
Fruit. Peaches, pears, figs, bullace, grapes, apples, medlars, damsons, filberts, nuts, walnuts, quinces, services.
November.
Meat. Beef, mutton, veal, pork, house lamb, doe venison, poultry and game.
Fish as the last month.
Vegetables. Carrots, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, skirrets, onions, leeks, shalots, cabbage, savoys, colewort, spinach, cardoons, cresses, endive, celery, lettuces, salad, herbs.
Fruit. Pears, apples, nuts, walnuts, bullace, chesnuts, medlars, grapes.
December.
Meat. Beef, mutton, veal, house lamb, pork and venison.
Poultry. Game, turkeys, geese, pullets, pigeons, capons, fowls, chickens, rabbits, hares, snipes, woodcocks, larks, pheasants, partridges, sea-fowls, guinea-fowls, wild ducks, teal, widgeon, dotterels, dunbirds, grouse.
Fish. Turbot, cod, holibets, soles, gurnets, sturgeon, carp, gudgeons, codlings, eels, dories, shellfish.
Vegetables. As in the last month; asparagus forced.
Fruit. As the last, except bullace.

Tomorrow I’m going to look at some of the cooking terms used, then on Sunday we kick start a week of recipes.
Sandie
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